Scandal S06E05 Recap

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SOME SPOILERS AHEAD.

This episode had me all over the place theorising about who it was that ordered the assassination on Frankie Vargas and subsequently framed Cyrus for it.

At first I thought that maybe it was Liv who’d done it. She was uncharacteristically wrong about Cyrus being guilty and she steadfastly stuck to that belief, even after Team Pope discovered the $2 million that was sent to Tom that proved his innocence. Add that to the way she reacted to Quinn when she asked Liv what they would do about Cyrus and I thought that she was trying to get her off of her back because she was getting too close to the truth.

But then there was the flashback to the conversation she had with Jake in which she said she needed to win this election to prove that she can run a clean campaign and still win. That right there knocked her out of the running. I always figured that she held onto the idea of Cyrus being guilty so tightly because if he was out of the way it would mean that Mellie would become president. Her desperation for said win is blinding her judgement. The flashback only reinforced that.

That flashback also presented me with another suspect: Jake. I thought that he had done it because he wanted Liv to have the win. They may have been on the outs, but everything changed once they had that conversation. It just fit perfectly to me.

But then he handed Liv the document with the information from the bank account that was in her name that showed it was the source of the $2 million that was paid to Tom. He seemed to be genuinely upset with her and the actions the document implied, throwing her desire to run a clean campaign in her face. Because he responded that way, I dismissed him as a suspect as well and briefly entertained the idea, again, that it could be Liv. This being a Shonda Rhimes show and all, misdirection is a core component to almost every story.

That idea immediately evaporated when she met with Papa Pope. I thought then that of course it would be him; it’s something that he would do. If not for Olivia then because he had yet another power scheme in the works. I went back to the first time Liv had confronted him about Frankie’s death and assumed that he had been lying to her about his involvement then, but she didn’t have the evidence to prove it.

But then he looked so scared when she handed him the document and I don’t think we’ve ever seen fear in his eyes. I couldn’t think that it was him after that. I realised that my earlier notions that some person or organisation that we hadn’t seen yet was behind Frankie’s death were right. The woman in the red dress confirmed that.

I’m entirely intrigued as to who she is and what organisation it is that she represents. Maybe it’s the electoral college? I don’t think it’s very likely it’s a government organisation, though, because I don’t think Papa Pope would be afraid of the U.S. government. I think he’s proven that he isn’t. I’m also very curious as to why they want Mellie to be president. I don’t think Mellie herself has anything to do with this conspiracy. She’s likely just someone they think that they can use to further their agendas.

Watching the deterioration of Jake and Vanessa’s marriage was eye roll inducing.

Vanessa is so desperate for Jake’s love and attention and for a connection with him that she just looks sad, pathetic, needy and annoying. I kind of don’t blame him for pushing her away when she’s trying so very, very hard to cling to him. But I do blame him for making her that way. It’s perfectly reasonable for her to want these things from her husband and that is a job that he is failing at spectacularly. We, the audience, know why he’s failing at it because we know him, but they were getting along so well before, as Vanessa herself pointed out. Maybe that was just an act on his part but I seemed genuine to me.

Jake was being absolutely terrible to her. Unnecessarily so. It seemed like he didn’t care about maintaining their marriage anymore because he didn’t even bother to lie to her to get her to back off. Considering how poorly he’s treating her, Vanessa needs to pull herself up by her bootstraps, realise that their marriage is not what she wants it to be and either accept it as it is or leave. Or do as Mellie suggested and figure out what it is that she wants to get out of the marriage and work toward that. Which it looks like she did by doing the interview with Sally. Please let this be the end of Vanessa drowning her sorrows in alcohol.

And wouldn’t you know it? Jennifer isn’t dead. I had an inkling that she wasn’t when we got the flashback to Jake setting the bomb in her cabin and all we saw of “her” was her feet. It’s little things like that that shows and movies do that always clue us into these thing. And if TV has taught us anything over the years it’s that if we don’t see someone die on screen, odds are they’re not dead. Unless you’re Stannis Baratheon.

Random thoughts:

  1. Ugh! They brought back Sally? Can we not have her appear on this show anymore?
  2. I would actually have liked to see Liv lay Vanessa out.
  3. Why so mean to your wife Jake?
  4. Jake, do not kill Vanessa.
  5. Jake did the cool guy walk away from an explosion thing!
  6. Mellie the pep talk Queen.

Scandal airs Thursdays at 9 PM on ABC.

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About The Author

An avid reader who accidentally discovered her love and talent for writing and has loved movies for as long as she has been watching them. Stumbled into film-making and found her second love because she decided to read for a degree in it on a whim - kind of.